If 5-minutes is all you have, workout for 5-minutes. You’ll STILL get great results.
I always get the strangest look from people when I tell them that. A look of pure and utter disbelief.
Yes, of course moving more is BEST.
BUT I think our belief that if a workout isn’t a certain length, it doesn’t count, so often holds us back from achieving the great results we deserve.
When you can get killer results from 5, 10 or even 15 minutes a day!
But to get those results out of that time, you have to be SMART with how you create your workouts.
You can’t waste time with a ton of rest. Or with isolated movements that focus on small muscles.
You have to combine moves that work more muscles at once and even get you moving in multiple planes of motion to build functional strength. You have to up your intensity and even shorten your rest.
And to do all of this and get great results in less time, you need to make sure your quick workouts focus on HYBRID EXERCISES!
What Are Hybrid Exercises?
Hybrid Exercises are moves that COMBINE two or more exercises together that flow well with each other and allow you to work more muscles at once and even work your body in different planes of motion in a shorter amount of time.
When I’ve spoken about Hybrid Moves, I’ve gotten asked, “But aren’t those just compound moves?”
Compound exercises are great moves to work multiple large muscle groups and engage two or joints. But with Hybrid Exercises, you are even trying to COMBINE compound moves together.
You are taking it a step further to max out your body in less time by combining moves together.
This can not only allow you to work more large muscle groups at once but even hone in on some of those “trouble zones” as you burn more calories in less time.
So if you want to work more muscles, burn more fat and get in and out and on with your day more quickly, you need to include Hybrid Exercises!
Benefits Of Hybrid Exercises:
The top benefit summed up…Getting better results in less time.
We all have crazy, busy lives with a bazillion demands on our time. Too many of us don’t have hours to spend in a gym.
That is why using Hybrid Exercises is so key!
- Work a variety of muscles groups in a short amount of time.
- Help up your intensity to burn more calories and create a better after burn.
- Move you in every plane of motion.
- Build functional strength.
- Are killer cardiovascular movements perfect for interval training
- Help build full body strength WHILE you even target particular trouble zones.
- Help us learn to control acceleration, deceleration and the transition from one movement pattern to another.
- Serve as their OWN “active rest.”
Because these moves work more muscles at once, we can burn more calories in less time. They also work more LARGE muscles at once, which is super key to getting more out of less time.
And when you get more muscles working at once, your body is going to have to work harder to keep up with your energy demands. AKA your workout intensity will go up as well as the benefit of the After Burn, which I talk more about here.
Because these moves can get our blood pumping in less time, they are the perfect moves for interval training. They will help us feel the burn in those quick 20-30 second intervals of work we so often use!
These hybrid moves also create movement patterns working different muscles twisting, turning and lifting to build functional strength.
Let’s face it…In life you aren’t always just squatting. Nope, you’re squatting to get something out of the dishwasher then rotating up to place it in the cabinets…Or at least that is what I have to do haha
The point is, we so often “combine” compound moves in our daily life, why wouldn’t we train some of those same moves and “ideas” in our workouts?
Especially if they help us get more out of less time!
And not only are the functional, increase our intensity and work more muscles at one, but they are a great way to target our “trouble zones” AND even perform “active rest.”
How do they accomplish all of these things…things that honestly seem at times slightly at odds?
Well, Hybrid Exercises are two moves COMBINED. And those moves could be to huge compound lifts OR a compound lift with a more focused moves.
That means you could take a more “isolation” exercise or an exercise that targets a specific area…like say the Bench Dip for Triceps…and combine it with a compound upper body move…like Push Ups…to get the Push Up to Dip.
This move will really burn out your triceps BUT you’ll get more bang for your buck in less time because you’ll also work your chest, shoulders and core WHILE you target your triceps!
And you can do this for just about any area….
For another example…the Squat to Lateral Leg Raise. You not only work your entire leg, BUT you also get in a little extra targeted abduction work to get your glute medius activated and working.
But because you are short on time, you aren’t wasting time on isolation moves. NOPE! You are getting the benefit of targeted work, BUT included with the benefit of compound moves!
And you can change up these same moves so that they DON’T burn out an area and can even allow you to keep moving WITHOUT rest by becoming their own “active rest!”
What do I mean by this?
Well if you only have 5 minutes, you can’t really afford to spend any of it truly resting. That means you can’t just work one area over and over again.
But with Hybrid Exercises, you can combine two moves that allow you to rest one area as you work the other!
This can be combining an upper and lower body move OR even something as simple as combining giving one side of your body a rest after a bilateral compound move, like a Push Up to Toe Touch!
The point is, you can combine moves in so many different ways so that you can get more benefit out of LESS TIME.
And the even BETTER part about Hybrid Moves!? You don’t need any fancy equipment to do them!
Not only are there a ton of great BODYWEIGHT Hybrid Exercises, but even just a basic pair of Dumbbells can help you build full-body strength!
Below are 5 Bodyweight Hybrid Moves I use ALL OF THE TIME. And even one of my go-to dumbbell Hybrid Moves!
5 Hybrid Exercises:
These are 5 Hybrid Exercises I use all of the time (as well as some of the ones I mentioned above like the Push Up to Dip and Push Up To Toe Touch). They work your entire body and will get your blood pumping in no time! They are also multi-planar movements to get you twisting and turning and moving in every direction to build functional strength. Some combine two compound exercises while others will combine more focused moves with compound moves to target those trouble zones.
Mountain Climber Burpee:
The Mountain Climber Burpee takes that Basic Burpee and makes it even more core and upper body intensive with 3 push ups and 2 mountain climber knee tucks! Talk about a way to burnout your body quickly and get your blood pumping!
To do the Mountain Climber Burpee, start standing tall. Then bend over and squat down to put your hands on the ground in front of your feet as you jump back into a high plank position. From this high plank position, perform a push up. Keep your body in a nice straight line as you lift and lower. Beginners can go down to their knees and come back up to their toes at the top for the knee tuck.
After pushing back up, tuck one knee in toward the same elbow. Then place the foot back and perform another push up. Once you push back up, tuck the other knee in. Do one final push up then jump your feet into your hands and stand back up. Jump at the top then repeat the move.
Beginners can also do this off an incline. Using a bench, place your hands on the bench and jump back instead of going all of the way to the ground.
And while there are 3 full push ups, you can modify by taking out a push up and doing both knee tucks in a row. You can also modify the push ups by doing them from your knees or off an incline.
Crawl with Sit Thru:
This move is a staple in my cardio interval workouts. Your blood will be pumping with this contralateral crawl that really works your entire core! Your quads, shoulders and abs will work as you crawl not only forward and backward but also twist with the Sit Thru!
To Crawl with Sit Thru, set up on your hands and knees with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Flex your feet and then lift up onto your hands and the balls of your feet. Then begin to move forward or backward, moving your opposite arm and leg together. Step forward with your right hand as you step forward with your left foot. Keep your back flat and core engaged as you move. Try to keep your knees close to the ground.
Think small steps and stable hips over trying to get further faster.
After a few steps forward or backward, perform a Sit Thru.
To perform a Sit Thru, from the crawl position, rotate open toward the right and bring your left leg under and through toward where your right hand is. As you bring your left leg forward and through, lift your right hand. You should almost be sitting when you rotate through with your left hand down to support you.
Then bring the left leg back through and place your right hand back down so that you are back in the starting crawl position. Next rotate to the left and kick your right leg through and forward as you lift your left hand.
Bring the leg back through to the crawling position and then change the direction of your crawl or keep moving in the same direction. Move quickly as you crawl back and forth performing a Sit Thru to each side every few steps or so.
Beginners may crawl on their knees and either do a straighter leg Sit Thru OR keep both hands down.
Reverse Lunge to Knee Tuck:
The less you can rest during the short time you have to work, and the more muscles you can work during that time, the more bang for your buck you’ll get! And this move will allow your legs to rest a bit as you work your abs and obliques with a nice Knee Tuck and Twist so you can keep moving for the entire time you have.
Plus this unilateral move will help you improve your leg strength and your balance to correct any imbalances you may have between your dominant and non-dominant sides!
To do the Reverse Lunge to Knee Tuck, start standing tall with your hands on your shoulders or by your head to help with the twist. Then lunge back with your right foot, dropping your back knee down toward the ground as you keep your chest up. Keep your front heel down as you lunge back and bend your front knee to about 90 degrees as you load your glute. Keep your front knee about over your ankle to help you think about loading your glute.
Drive back up to standing, pushing through your left (front) heel. As you drive up, bring your back knee up and forward as you come to standing. Tuck your right knee up and rotate your upper body toward that right knee. You can slight crunch toward the knee but don’t just round over.
Twist toward that knee then lunge back again and repeat on the same side. Make sure to engage the glute of your standing leg and feel your abs work to twist toward your knee. You can tap your toe down to balance if needed between the lunge and knee drive. The less though that you tap down between the harder the move will be.
Beginners may not lunge as low or even perform the twist without the knee tuck if balancing is an issue to start.
Inchworm Push Ups:
Some Hybrid Exercises are amazing because you can work on your mobility AS you build full-body strength and get your blood pumping. By combining an Inchworm Crawl with a Push Up, you can not only improve your mobility, but also get your blood pumping as you work your upper body and core!
This has fast become one of my favorite Hybrid Push Up Variations for cardio workouts!
To do Inchworm Push Ups, start standing tall. Then place your hands down on the ground, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Then walk your hands out to move into a plank position.
When you reach the high plank position, you will perform a push up. Keep your core engaged and make sure your body moves in one straight line. Do not sag your hips. Beginners can drop to their knees for the push up.
Press back up to the top of the push up and then, from the plank position, walk back in. Keep your legs as straight as possible as you walk in and out.
Beginners may even need to take out the push up to start or do one from their knees every other rep.
Squat To Lunge:
Don’t have weights and want to toast a body part in less time? Then moves like the Squat to Lunge are the way to do it! Combining these two compound leg moves will have your legs shaking in no time!
To do the Squat to Lunge, start with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Squat down, sitting your butt back. Do not round forward as you squat down. Keep your heels down and sink your butt so that your quads are about parallel to the ground.
Then jump up and switch into a lunge stance as you land. One foot will be forward and then other will lunge back as you drop your back knee down toward the ground. Sink low in the low and keep your chest up.
In the lunge, your front heel should be down and your weight should be fairly centered.
Jump back into the squat and then lunge on the other side. Move quickly, exploding up off the ground to switch.
Beginners can start with stepping between the two moves instead of jumping. They can even do more of a Skater Squat Movement shown below.
So there are SO MANY Hybrid Exercise options out there, especially when you start to add in a variety of tools. One of my favorite staple moves using the dumbbell though is the Renegade Row Push Up.
It builds complete upper body strength and I love that it is a press that also includes a pull! Talk about building core stability as well as back, chest, shoulder, arm and even CORE strength!
Renegade Row Push Up:
To do the Renegade Row Push Up, you can use dumbbells (or kettlebells). Place them on the ground about shoulder-width apart with them just outside your chest. Place your hand on each dumbbell with your palms facing in so the weights are parallel.
Then set up at the top of a plank with your arms straight and legs out straight behind you. You can do this from your knees or your toes. The closer together your feet/knees are, the harder the move will be on your core because you won’t have as wide a base to fight rotation during the row.
From this plank position, perform a Push Up, dropping your chest to the weights. With your body moving as one unit, lower down and press back up. At the top of the Push Up, row one dumbbell up to your side, driving your elbow down and back toward the ceiling. Lower the weight down and then perform another Push Up. After the Push Up, row the other dumbbell up. Make sure not to shrug your shoulders as you row. You want to feel your back working.
Also, fight the urge to rotate open as you row. Keep your body in a nice straight line from your head to your heals. Really focus on squeezing your glutes.
Beginners may need to do a row on each side after each Push Up to eliminate some of the Push Ups. Advanced exercisers will want to do only one row after each Push Up and use heavy weights.
Heck from here you could even add in a Cross-Body Mountain Climber for what I call the Mountain Climber Row Push Up!
For even more great hybrid moves and the fast and effective workouts I create using them, check out my Bodyweight Shred program! All you need is your own bodyweight even for killer full body workouts to burn fat and build muscle!